Organized religion in America is on the decline. The Church—any church, all churches, the omniscient "Church" representing all organized religious institutions—holds less allure for a new generation of American adults. This is a fact, not a supposition. The Church, though far from gone, is an institution of the past.
A new report from the Pew Research Center makes clear two things: 1) America is still an overwhelmingly religious country, and 2) America is becoming a less religious country. Key findings:
- "One-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling."
- Atheists and agnostics make up almost 6% of Americans. Another 14% claim no specific religious affiliation.
- The percentage of unaffiliated Americans has grown by almost a third in the past five years.
- Two thirds of unaffiliated Americans say they believe in god. But when asked, "Are you looking for a religion that's right for you?" 88% of them say "no."
- The younger an adult is, the less likely they are to claim a religious affiliation. Only 9% of those over 65 are unaffiliated, while 32% of those aged 18-29 are unaffiliated.
- A strong majority of unaffiliated Americans tend to vote Democratic, and they are twice as likely to call themselves liberals as they are to call themselves conservatives.
Why does the un-religion-ing process appear to be happening so fast now? Eh... I'd say the internet, and Christopher Hitchens. Alternate interpretations go in the comments.